Running to the Music: The Natural Motivator

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Running to the Music: the natural motivator is a fun activity that will improve your fitness levels and is a great way to stay fit and healthy.

Running to the Music: The Natural Motivator

Key Takeaway

Music can be the foundation of pleasure and happiness. It can also have many different psychological benefits as well. Compelling tunes can help runners elevate their mindset to endure training runs.

Music: The natural motivator

Have you ever heard the expression “Music to my ears”? I guess we all have. We use this expression to point out something is pleasing to hear, such as good news. Well, in a way, that is what music does to humans.

Music is indeed a natural motivator. It can be the foundation of pleasure and happiness. It can also have many different psychological benefits as well.

Running to the Music: The Natural Motivator

Music is probably one of the biggest influencers in the world. It can influence our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Sometimes in our lives, everybody feels pumped up while listening to their favorite rock song or even moved to tears by another soft song or a tender live performance. These human reactions to the tune can help you understand the power of music. It has the power to impact moods and even inspire action.

Have you ever responded to a tune by tapping your toes or drumming your fingers? As humans, it’s in our DNA to respond to rhythm. Scientific studies have shown that music can help you move in the best, most effective way possible, mainly in the context of sports activity.

The benefits of music

Music helps you enhance your activity performance, endurance, and recovery making exercise more enjoyable. The connection between music and exercise performance is strong.

Music can help you run faster, longer, and smoother if you apply that to running. Music can also help calm your nerves before a race. It can make running a more pleasant experience.

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Every runner, now and then, experiences a bad day when running is the last thing they want to do. For those days, your favorite playlist may be precisely what you need. It will give you the extra pump, the extra motivation you need.

Compelling tunes can help runners elevate their mindset to endure training runs. Music advances the positive aspects of mood. It offers you excitement and happiness. On the other hand, it reduces negative features such as stress, exhaustion, and tension.

The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research observed that listening to music before a training run will get you fired up and prepare you for what’s to come.

And that’s not all. Following a particular beat can help you properly regulate your pace if you flip on your playlist. It can help you keep the same precise pace with less effort. Even more, matching the tune with your stride can help you refine your stride to make you a more efficient runner.

However, maximizing the compelling benefits of music requires a bit of planning and effort. It is better to take your time and choose your playlist carefully. This way, you’ll most likely get the most out of it. It is important to note that listening to the right music at the right time will give you the results you anticipate. However, if the playlist selection is not allocated correctly, then opposite results may come. Slow-tempo songs could slow down your pace. For instance, the last thing you want to hear is a slow song when you start marching up a hill. Playing upbeat, fast-tempo songs will elevate you.  So, take your time and prepare the perfect running playlist for you.

Running without music

Running to the music

However, many runners prefer running without music. This way, they can concentrate on running fundamentals, such as breathing or pace. Music distracts them. They prefer being present and aware of their surroundings. They argue that running without music is more appealing to their emotions. However, we cannot ignore the extensive studies on the beneficial effects of music while running. These show that music increases concentration, reduces the impression of effort, and provides an ongoing stimulus. An upbeat song increases the activity in the ascending reticular activating system, leading to faster efforts with less realized effort.

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Music stimulates people to run more frequently. It gives you the lost motivation to get you up and get you out for a run. It offers the proper inspiration to keep going when the run is long and boring.

Still, research has shown that using the music correctly can help runners pace while training. A modern study proved that runners performed better when the beat of the music matched their cadence than when they ran without music. In most cases, fast-beat songs exceeding 120 BPM (beats per minute) work perfectly for high-intensity workouts.  Low-tempo songs with less than 120 BPM are optimal for exercises requiring less effort, such as a long run.


Is it just the music or its motivational effect of it?

Running to the Music: The Natural Motivator

All studies and researches indicate that the increased performance effects of music result from improved motivation. In any activity in life, physical or mental, motivation plays a significant role. We perceive that it’s much easier and effortless to run outside when it’s sunny than when it’s rainy, cold, or windy. Similarly, the benefits of fast-paced music have been demonstrated by several studies. However, they all have similar settings: amateur athletes, usually running alone on a treadmill or doing stationary bicycles. In these neutral or dull conditions, music normally elevates the athlete to improve his performance.

But when the settings of the study change and the subject is more experienced or even a professional athlete, the effects of the music will decrease dramatically.  Now, position the athlete in a real competitive environment, and the impact of the music on the results will virtually disappear.

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When the athlete is insufficiently motivated, it is likely to underperform in cold, windy weather. In the case of the actual race, you’ll likely already be very stimulated and ready to go.

Define Your Goals

Choose the music you like if you hope to extend your long run from 10k to 15k. Choose music that entertains and distracts you from the training.

You usually try to increase the pace in a shorter run; speed is the key. Try to choose upbeat music. Songs just above 120 BPM to 130 BPM are ideal for fast-tempo running. However, avoid songs beyond 150 BMP as they are too fast and can interrupt your pace.

If you choose to listen to music while running, you have to ensure its safe use. You should stay alert when running in the city, in a high-traffic area, or on an exposed road. This means keeping your volume down or choosing headphones that promote situational awareness, like AfterShokz.

So, should you listen to music while running?

Well, the choice is yours. Sometimes you might prefer music, some others not. Whatever you choose, know that there is no one or other decision.

Scientific Studies

The effects of different music genres on perceived and physiological measures of exertion during exercise
The Effects of Listening to Music on High-Intensity Short-Term Exercise in Well-Trained Athletes
Effects of music on exercise performance
The Effects of Music and Metronome on Repetitive Jumping Performance
Music and Physical Activity in Older Adults: A Systematic Review

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